All Night Long (2020)

The relationship between two best friends is tested as they prepare to compete in a National Dance Competition.

As an aspiring filmmaker at NYU Tisch with a job in the music industry, I am constantly surrounded by ambition. It’s a quality that wavers between a strength and a flaw, and in excess, I believe that it can result in ultimate failure. For my thesis short film, I want to explore its role between two characters, a dancer (Arthur) and a choreographer (Ben), who are best friends and artistic collaborators with a mutual competitive goal. 

 

Stocky and inelegant, Ben and Arthur start rehearsing their routine against all odds and despite doubtful audiences in hopes of taking it to Nationals. However, this underdog narrative is not just the duo versus society; here, fragile masculinity and restrained vulnerability are antagonistic forces. I believe these internal conflicts to be caused by a traditionally American upbringing that categorizes hobbies by gender and restricts outlets for self-expression, outputting people like Ben and Arthur who so desperately want to make art but lack the confidence to do it amid societal judgment. To raise the stakes, I’ve decided to age the narrative back to the 1980s, when cultural chaos due to the pop music revolution and AIDS crisis further isolated machismo and effeminacy. The only way for Ben and Arthur to assert their machismo in a stereotypically effeminate art form to a judgmental society is by literally winning - and thus, they set their eyes on a National Dance Competition trophy.

As we watch the duo’s ambition sabotage their own act, we have to wonder, to what extent can true friendship exist in competition? My story aims to surface this universal unease.

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Production Assistants:

Noah Mutterperl

Benjamin Gottesman

Mike Klubeck

Heather Vaxer

Annie Swenson

Emily Miller

Simon Geisker

Henry Dacosta

Simon Geisker

Felicia Sobhani

Audrey Roh

Kameron Mills

Josh Charow

Idil Eryürekli

Emmet Luciano

Taylor Bissey

Matt Ianoco

Tom Ingwersen

Derin Eğrikavuk

Matt Kaufman

Hana Kim

Kristal Salazar

Bria Josephs

Kathryn Aman

Tatum Dorrell

Margarita Herrera

Sarah Nocquet

Haina Zhou

Celine Abdallah

Benjy Berkowitz

Effie Ogino